Manx Language Wooden Crate

Contributed by Manx National Heritage

Manx Language Wooden Crate © Manx National Heritage

50 children learn all their primary education in the Manx language at the Bunscoill Ghaelgagh (Manx Primary School).This humble wooden crate and the Irish Taoiseach Eamon de Valera played a key role in ensuring the survival of the Manx Gaelic language.

This crate made its journey to the Isle of Man in 1949, sent by the Irish Folklore Commission in Dublin. It contained two sets of 12-inch discs, holding over five hours of rare recordings of the voices of some of the last native Manx speakers.

The recordings were instigated by Eamon De Valera who visited the Isle of Man in 1947. He happened to meet Ned Maddrell, a native Manx speaker, and was so concerned at the vulnerability of Manx Gaelic that he offered to send a recording van to capture the last vestiges of this endangered language.

Today these recordings have been re-mastered, digitised and published with full transcriptions and translations and have proved a priceless link back to the native Manx speakers for modern Manx linguists and have ensured the survival of the language.

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